Malathaat (whose name is said to mean "senses" in Arabic) is the first Oaks winner for Curlin, whose other standout daughters include 2015 American champion 3-year-old filly Stellar Wind and Coaching Club American Oaks (USA-G1) winners Curalina (2015) and Paris Lights (2020). Twice the American Horse of the Year during his own racing career, Curlin has become one of North America's best sires of two-turn runners and is currently fourth on the American general sire list.
Malathaat is bred along similar lines to both Stellar Wind and Paris Lights, as all three are out of mares from the A.P. Indy male line. In Malathaat's case, the maternal grandsire is A.P. Indy himself, the 1992 American Horse of the Year and the American champion broodmare sire of 2015. (A.P. Indy also led the American general sire list twice, in 2003 and 2006.) As of May 3, Curlin has sired 31 winners and 7 stakes winners out of 68 named foals of racing age sired from A.P. Indy mares---subpar to his overall results by percentage of winners, but superior by percentage of stakes winners.
The Oaks winner is the third foal and only winner out of A.P. Indy's daughter Dreaming of Julia, who won the 2012 Frizette Stakes (USA-G1) as a juvenile and the 2013 Gulfstream Park Oaks (USA-G2) at 3. In the latter race, she won by over 21 lengths and posted a 114 Beyer Speed figure. That made her the favorite for the 2013 Kentucky Oaks, but she all but eliminated herself by a bad stumble at the star and did well to end up fourth. She ended her career having won half her eight starts.
A half sister to multiple Grade 3 winner Dream Pauline (by Tapit) and to the speedy stakes winner Atreides (by Medaglia d'Oro), Dreaming of Julia has since produced an unnamed 2-year-old colt by Medaglia d'Oro, a 2020 filly by Curlin, and a 2021 filly by Medaglia d'Oro. She is out of multiple Grade 1 winner Dream Rush, who also remains active as a broodmare and produced a Bernardini colt this year.
While the cross of Curlin to an A.P. Indy mare would suggest stamina as the strong suit, Dream Rush provides an injection of high-class speed to the pedigree as she scored Grade 1 wins in the Prioress Breeders' Cup Stakes (6 furlongs) and the Darley Test Stakes (7 furlongs) in 2007. Her performances reflect the influence of her sire Wild Rush (by inaugural Breeders' Cup Classic, USA-G1, winner Wild Again), who took down his biggest wins in the 1998 Carter Handicap (USA-G1) over 7 furlongs and the 1998 Metropolitan Handicap (USA-G1) over a mile. A versatile horse, Wild Rush equaled the track record of 1:53.60 for 9.5 furlongs at Remington Park and set a track record of 1:47.51 for 9 furlongs at Sportsman's Park, and Dream Rush was the last of three North American Grade 1 winners that he left behind him when he was exported to Japan in 2003.
Dream Rush is out of the unraced Unbridled mare Turbo Dream, whose other produce includes Adream (by Bernardini), dam of Grade 3 winner Song of Spring (by Spring At Last). A closely inbred mare, Turbo Dream is out of the winning Mr. Prospector mare Reve de Fee and, thus, carries a 3x2 cross to Mr. Prospector (who through Fappiano, is the paternal grandsire of Unbridled). As Curlin is a male-line grandson of Mr. Prospector, Malathaat represents two generations of outcrossing away from that stallion followed by a reintroduction of his blood through a different source, in this case Curlin's sire Smart Strike, who was a two-time American champion sire.
Unbeaten in five starts, Malathaat has looked so good that Shadwell Stable general manager Rick Nichols and trainer Todd Pletcher have voiced the possibility of starting her against males in either the Preakness Stakes (USA-G1) or the Belmont Stakes (USA-G1), the latter being a race that Pletcher won with A. P. Indy's champion daughter Rags to Riches in 2007----ironically, at Preakness winner Curlin's expense. Much will depend on how Malathaat looks over the next few days and how the fields shape up for the other two Classics, but for now, she and her connections can enjoy the memory of the roar of the crowd in the Churchill Downs stands, the sweet smell of lilies, and the feel and taste of victory, providing a feast for all the senses in one comely filly.